A Week of Vintage Christmas Awesome

14 Dec 2009

So, I had planned to give you three original ornament tutorials this week, but BOY is that not happening.

Instead, I'm giving you a full week of wonders from my vintage craft book/mag collection. Trust me, this stuff is waaaaaaay better than anything I could have come up with.

(This Women's Circle Christmas Book hails from 1976. Which was a Very Crafty Year.)

These ornaments are constructed from various bottle caps. A pretty dang cool idea, really.

Here are some more. There's good potential here! So, Bridget, where's our demo?! :-)

This is a not-half-bad idea, too: handmade pattern weights, for the sewist in your life. Frankly, you could crochet the rocks instead of painting them.

Right now, if I have one sorrow in life, it's the fact that my craft stash contains no ham cans at all.

...But I do have a number of wooden spools! I think these are quite cute.

I will say: in the 70's, craft designers were super good at using embellishments.

...And these? Wow - apparently you take a plastic pill bottle, fill it with glitter and sequins, and bake it until it melts. To add color, you'd rub some lipstick or eyeshadow on the inside of the bottle.

I've said it before: crafting in the 60s and 70s was filled with the most exuberant experiments. Whether you love the finished products or not, they will get you thinking in new ways. I never get tired of this stuff.

More tomorrow!


I still have the pill bottle ornaments we made when I was little. My girls generally decorate our tree, but 'my ornaments' always have a place of honor.

I'm 47 & still have 1 of the 2 pill bottle creations of the 60's or 70's! A little angel in a clear one w/ gold rickrack around the top hangs on my xmas tree. The other I remember making at a bday party was a lucky penny in a brown color pill bottle melted down. the penny stayed uncovered by the melted plastic. LOVE you blog, Diane!!!

Wow! I wonder if our modern pill bottles would melt so beautifully.

I remember ham in cans! How funny, I haven't thought if them in years. The pill bottles are pretty neat too.

We don't have enough interestingly-shaped cans in modern life. :-)

These are awesome, but wouldn't be nearly as awesome without your commentary! Ha ha, ham cans!

Ham. cans. Ha! And they didn't do a darn thing to them ... no glitter, no ribbon, no wrapping paper. Just plain old ham cans. Gotta love 'em. Oh, wait, it looks like they put white pom poms on top. Well, there you go! Can't wait to see the rest of the week. :)

I gotta say, you'll probably need MORE pills after melting plastic in your oven. Toxic casserole, anyone?

I have the most amazing ham tin in my kitchen that I was lucky enough to get from a guy who makes those tin lanterns (the nice ones, with burnt, not punched, holes). He did the same thing with a ham tin and I fell in love with it. True art.

As a Camp Fire girl in the 70s we did the melted medicine bottles with bits of old crayons in them- very fun but stinky

Ooh, I'll find a copy of that one. Thanks for the recommendation!

Wait . . . Did you say CANNED BACON?!

I love finding old books at the thrift, it is fun to redo old crafts into newer ideas.


and when you sniff the fumes from the melted pill bottles, the inspiration just flows!

also? my new nickname for you is Ham Cans.

Rarely do I use this phrase, but ROTFLOL. :-)

Rarely do I use this phrase, but ROTFLOL. :-)

and when you sniff the fumes from the melted pill bottles, the inspiration just flows!

also? my new nickname for you is Ham Cans.

OMG I remember canned hams. My Grandparents actually thought they were good enough to gift them. That, and canned bacon. There's probably some left over (they were big canned meat givers) in Mom's bomb shelter (really old house).

Come to think of it, the last Canned Ham I saw was probably at Walgreen's, so there's hope for your craft stash.

I love finding these old craft books and the really creative crafts. That pill bottle one is..um..interesting! xo, suzy

We used to melt pill bottles all the time in the 70s. We would put plastic beads in them and put them on plastic lanyard to make necklaces. Finding clear pill bottles these days is virtually impossible.

If you love the 70's crafts, check out a book called Native Funk and Flash. http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0912020385/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF...
It's got amazing embroidered garments and wall hangings, etc.
with some of the most evocative photos of that era I've ever seen!!

aww, i don't have any ham cans, either! : (

oh my gosh! I made melted pill bottle ornaments in Guides - we put crayon shavings in them. You poked a hanging hole with a toothpick before it melted. Thanks for the flashback!